I hope you've had wonderful holiday memories and will continue to create them. I've had a few, but remembering two most especially, which occurred many years apart, I'll now be very happy to recall and recount, to wit:
The first special Christmas for me occurred when I was eight years old, in 1945. The document that ended all of World War Two was signed September 1st and everyone here in the U.S. and those populating our allied countries were in understandably very happy, grateful and celebratory moods. My mother was especially happy, because she had worked for the government's War Department during all of World War Two and was now able to pursue other work. (Family was comprised of just her and me during most of those 1940s years because my father left my mother and me when I was 16 months old. My mother and I lived in a Pittsburgh “project” apartment at that time, but she and I moved into my grandfather's apartment to begin living with him in 1948.)
Because she wasn't able to afford many presents during those war years, she told me to expect something "very special" for Christmas just a few days prior to that 1945 day. As is the case with any child, I eagerly wondered what could be labeled "very special" , especially since we were not exactly rich during those years. I also fervently believed in Santa Claus, even though we didn't have a chimney in the apartment. Regardless, when I awakened that Christmas morning, I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into the living room. My mother had showered me with more board games than I could count, from Monopoly to Parcheesi to Chutes and Ladders and so many more, as well as an electric train (which I still have). I had never been deprived of any of the basics, but to then be treated to an overflow of gifts from my wonderful and very hard-working mother that Christmas made it a Christmas I'll never forget.
The second very special Christmas celebration occurred December 24th and December 25th, 1973. My two daughters, wife and I were all together for the first time in several years. We were living in a beautiful 12-room rented bottom half of a 24-room duplex in West St. Paul, Minnesota, during my KSTP-TV weathercasting days. Because my wife and I were deeply rooted in show business and especially Broadway musicals, one of our favorites was and is Mame. One of the more uplifting and memorable songs in Mame is "We need a little Christmas". As you might recall, it's entirely happy. Not only did we all hold hands and dance to it more than once in the living room Christmas Eve and Christmas morning (we almost wore out the 33-1/3 recording), but it was decided by my daughters and wife that their large Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls should get "married" Christmas morning. I performed the wedding ceremony and those two dolls have lived happily ever after! Smiling here. Indeed, that Christmas evokes many smiles.
Everyone at Ebenezer, including yours truly, of course, hopes you have the happiest and most blessed holidays ever.
Thank you for reading, as always.